Town Crier

TEWKSBURY — As originally reported by Boston 25 News on March 3, one or more Tewksbury Redmen varsity hockey team members have been identified as creating and disseminating derogatory comments about players from an op­posing team via social media.

According to parents of Lowell Catholic hockey team members interview­ed by Boston 25 news, Snap­chat messages sent by a ­Tewks­­bury hockey team member, or members, identified students on the Lowell Catholic team with personal information about their families, de­nigrating statements about players’ physical ap­pear­an­ces, and comments regarding speculation of student sex­ual orientation.

The Boston 25 News report by John Monahan quoted a mother of a Lowell Catholic player as saying, “My son was one player called out on the report and they called him fat.”

The parent also said in Monahan’s report, “My concern was talking about a player’s sister doing an act with her boyfriend who plays on the team.”

Another Lowell Catholic parent was quoted by Boston 25 News stating, “The only thing they had said about our son was that he was gay.”

In a letter issued on Mon­day, March 6, 2023 by TMHS principal Andrew Long, Long was made aware of the incident on the evening of March 2, 2023.

The letter states, “The incident centers around the creation and sharing of a list of Lowell Catholic (LC) hockey players, family members and other members of the LC community that contained offensive and harassing comments about them. This occurred the same even­ing that Tewksbury Memo­rial High School (TMHS) was scheduled to play LC in the MIAA Division 2 playoffs.”

The letter went on to state, “Upon learning of this information, in consultation with the superintendent and the Tewksbury Police Department, the school administration and the athletic director [Ron Drouin] immediately began to investigate and review the available information. As a result of the preliminary in­vestigation, TMHS took im­me­diate action before the game began against any team mem­ber knowingly involved with creating and sharing the list.

“In addition, the team was also addressed prior to the start of the game by the athletic director and the head hockey coach [Derek Doher­ty] to not engage in any taun­ting behavior before, during or after the game and to ‘just play hockey.’”

School resource officers, school administration, and ad­ditional school staff were present in the stands and warned student fans that taunting behavior would not be tolerated, and would be sub­ject to “school-based con­se­quen­ces,” according to the letter.

Long’s letter continued: “On Friday, March 3, 2023, TMHS administration continued their formal investigation, acknowledging LC pa­rent feedback received both on the night of the game and the following day via email. The Head of School at Lowell Catholic was also contacted and apprised of the situation.”

Both Long and Drouin ad­dressed the team and then individually questioned mem­bers, according to the letter, “in an effort to determine the scope of involvement by the team and to begin working toward repairing the harm caused by this incident to individuals and the greater Lowell Catholic com­munity.”

Long closed the letter with the following statement: “To date, the investigation has produced information that has led to disciplinary action for those students deemed to have violated the school’s code of conduct and may lead to more consequences based on the final outcomes.

“Additionally, this will be treated as an opportunity for growth for all of our student-athletes on the team. The matter remains under investigation and more information will be shared as appropriate.

“Lastly, we continue to communicate with the Tewksbury Police and the MIAA to navigate this issue and make sure all necessary steps are taking place. Most importantly, I would like to express my re­gret and disappointment and to apologize for this grievous action and reassure you that it will be dealt with appropriately.”

The Town Crier reached out to Maryellen DeMarco, Head of School for Lowell Catholic, for comment. DeMarco, via email, stated, “Our administration has been in con­tact with Tewksbury administration since Friday morning and are confident they will handle the situation ap­propriately.”

According to Tewksbury Su­perintendent Brenda Ther­iault-Regan via email on Sun­day, March 5, 2023, “This is still an open investigation, and has not been fully concluded.”

The Crier also reached out to MIAA officials but did not hear back as of press time.

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